1 bad event/situation
ADJ. awful, big, dreadful, great, major, terrible, worst the biggest disaster in British mining history | near a near disaster in the city centre | imminent, impending It seemed that nothing could prevent the impending disaster. Everyone had the feeling that disaster was imminent. | potential | global, national | natural earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters | man-made | air, ecological, environmental, flood, military, mining, nuclear, rail fears of a nuclear disaster | business, economic, financial | personal
VERB + DISASTER bring, cause, lead to, spell One person's mistakes can bring disaster to someone else. attempts to find out what caused the disaster The drought spelt economic disaster for the country. | avert, avoid, prevent, save sb/sth from, stave off, ward off A major disaster was averted only just in time. What can be done to ward off environmental disaster? | predict, prophesy Independent analysts in the market predicted disaster. | court, invite It's courting disaster to go into the mountains without proper weatherproof clothing. | be heading for his firm belief that the whole world was heading for disaster | face In the last match of the series England were facing disaster. | suffer There are many who have suffered personal disasters but managed to rebuild their lives. | survive It was a miracle any of the passengers or crew survived the worst air disaster in Portugal for 20 years. | end in The show ended in disaster when the tent collapsed.
DISASTER + VERB happen, occur, strike finding out why the disaster occurred Everything was going fine. Then, without warning, disaster struck. | befall sb/sth, hit sb/sth, strike sb/sth the economic disaster that befell the country | loom, threaten We could all see that disaster loomed for the company.
DISASTER + NOUN area, zone Only rescue workers are allowed into the disaster area. | relief | victim
PREP. in a/the ~ In a disaster everyone needs to keep calm.
PHRASES a disaster waiting to happen Any one of these nuclear plants may be a disaster waiting to happen. | in the aftermath of a disaster In the aftermath of the disaster people were too shocked to give a clear picture of what had happened. | a recipe for disaster Letting her organize the party is a recipe for disaster (= sth that is likely to go badly wrong). | a victim of a disaster providing help for the victims of the disaster
2 a failure
ADJ. absolute, complete, real, total, unmitigated The play was a complete disaster from beginning to end. | economic, financial, social Buying that house turned out to be a financial disaster.
VERB + DISASTER prove, turn out to be High-rise buildings proved a social disaster.